May 2019: Interesting things we’re reading on translation, localization, and language
Updated: Sep 23
This is an area where the localization aspect of translation will be very important- when we interact with a devices a major barrier is the nuance of the language we use. Alexa, for example, still isn’t very good with slang in English. Can’t imagine how bad it is in other languages…
“With the three top-runners all competing to be number one in the international home automation market, one differentiator seems to be emerging – multilingual support. The multilingual challenge however, isn’t as easy as simply “adding” another language. Languages come with unique nuances, dialects, and idioms which are all subject to change based on the region in which the language is spoken.”
We have emotional intelligence, digital intelligence, and now, global intelligence (GQ) as required skills to navigate through today’s business environments:
“GQ is the intelligence needed to manage the world. As the world becomes more and more globalized, people, products, investment and technology will continue to cross national borders and cultures; making people and business more connected than ever before. GQ requires the same universal set of principles such as compassion and caring that we feel for our own family and community members.”]
If you’re doing business online in India and you’re not translating into native languages, you’re missing a huge opportunity:
“Online services available in Indian languages are making a killing. Indian language users number 234 million on the Internet and are growing faster than the English-speaking segment. The fact that at least 7 of the top 10 apps in India offer local language support is not mere coincidence. These apps are not of Indian origin, but their makers understand the importance of localization.”
We’ve talked about the myth of English as the international language of business. That mindset can mean you’re leaving an awful lot of the world off the table for your business. This index shows levels of English proficiency across the world and makes a strong case for localization of your products and services:
“Think a moment on how lower EPI scores may lead to potentially damaging consequences for your English-centric business – consumers misunderstanding your message or downright rejecting it because they are less likely to buy your product if it’s not localized.
However, this should be precisely the reason you go all-in for localization.”
Interesting Language Stat:
The Korean alphabet (Hangul) consists of 11,172 letters, whereas the English alphabet has 26.